Maxwell PR Maps Juicy Generational Trends for Food Marketers

Millennials Driven by Story, Boomers the Fountain of Youth

While Baby Boomers have dominated the cultural landscape for decades, Millennials are expected to surpass the post-war generation in 2015, growing to a projected 75.3 million compared to 74.9 million Boomers (U.S. Census Bureau). Because of their combined dominance, their habits, interests and communication preferences play a dominant role in food culture. (Graphic: Business Wire)

PORTLAND, Ore.--()--In a review of trends impacting the nation’s biggest eaters – Boomers and Millennials – Maxwell PR + Engagement found a parallel path of interests among the two generations, which make up more than half the country’s population and purchasing power.

Maxwell’s wide lens on consumer trends is rooted in its long history working with brand leaders in the natural foods category. The firm recently captured key trends in an infographic available on its website at

“When you compare trends it’s easy to see that boomers, a generation of people determined not to age, are watching and adopting Millennial behavior in part to stay young in both spirit and body,” said Jen Maxwell-Muir, founder of Maxwell and self-disclosed Gen X-er. “Memorable experiences are central to both, but for Millennials food is rooted in self-expression, while Boomers are motivated more by staying relevant.”

While Millennials are more likely to avoid home ownership, car shopping and landlines in favor of urban living, ride-sharing and mobile phones, they share more with Boomers than not when it comes to what they eat. Both cohorts appreciate good food, as well as a growing interest in health, culinary adventure and ethical eating. It’s the motivations and communication styles that differ most, including:

Label Reading Driven by Clean Eating for Millennials, Anti-Aging for Boomers

Boomers are more interested in nutrition than ever, seeking functional foods that contribute to health, specifically brain, bone, skin, joints and eyes. Millennials, on the other hand, are less inclined to count calories or seek specific nutrients, and more interested in the provenance, integrity and quality of ingredients.

Bored with the Ordinary, Millennials Push Envelope on Flavor

The global flavors Millennials already expect are making their way onto the plates of Boomers, inspired by the younger generation and looking to relive the experience of their travels. That said, appetite for culinary experiences is no greater than among Millennials with 9 out of 10 wanting to try new flavors, compared with only 53 percent of Boomers.

Generations Share Attraction to Fresh, Less Processed Foods

They may be a generation raised on frozen dinners and canned goods, but Boomers, like their Millennial counterparts, seek fresher, cleaner ingredients, from ready-to-eat grocery items to fast food. On the home front Boomers are looking for more control over their health, while Millennials seek quality ingredients. Both are looking for quality and flavor, and are driving huge growth in ready-to-eat meals.

Eating is Social

Eighty-five percent of Millennials have a smartphone and as a result, they’re used to comparing prices in store, accessing coupons, ordering ahead and making restaurant reservations. They are also three times more likely than others to rely on information from blogs and social networks where they seek validation from friends on what and where to eat. Boomers are working to keep up, making them the fastest-growing segments on both Twitter and Facebook.

About Maxwell PR + Engagement

Founded in 1997, Maxwell is an independent public relations firm focused on building national, purpose-driven lifestyle brands. The agency specializes in brand positioning, consumer engagement and marketing with social impact, in addition to traditional media and blogger relations, and digital marketing. Current clients include Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce, Argyle Winery, Columbus Foods, Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods, Kettle Brand®, McMenamins, Pacific Foods, Pamela’s Products and USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council. Visit for more information.


Maxwell PR
Kevin Lee, 503-231-3086


Maxwell PR
Kevin Lee, 503-231-3086